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Observer Sweet 16 girls previews: Davidson Day, Cuthbertson

Davidson Day’s Jael Hall is one of several key returning starters for an N.C. Independent Schools state title contender
Davidson Day’s Jael Hall is one of several key returning starters for an N.C. Independent Schools state title contender Special to the Observer

DAVIDSON DAY PATRIOTS

Head Coach: Jeff LaFave (4th year as Davidson Day head coach; 65-12 at Davidson Day).

2017-18 Record: 16-6 (no conference; NCISAA 2A state quarterfinalist).

Returning Starters (5): Jael Hall, So., PG (5-6); Mallorie Haines, So., G (5-10); Jessie Wiles, So., F (5-9); Josie Wiles, Sr., C (6-1); Kate Roberts, Sr., G (5-7).

Key Newcomers: Nevaeh Brown, Jr., G (5-9).

Outlook: The Patriots have quietly averaged 22 wins per season over the past three years. Coach Jeff LaFave returns all five starters this season, led by the backcourt of sophomores Jael Hall (10 points per game (ppg)) and sharpshooter, Mallorie Haines (17 ppg), who will lead the way. The Patriot frontcourt is also a year older, with Jessie and Josie Wiles (9 ppg, 7 rpg). All that should give Davidson Day the balance to make them a legitimate NCISAA 2A state contender, again.

CUTHBERTSON CAVALIERS

Head Coach: Joel Allen (9th year as Cuthbertson head coach; 116-91 at Cuthbertson).

2017-18 Record: 21-6 (12-2 in the Southern Carolinas’ conference (SCC).

Returning Starters (5): Kayla Young, Sr., PG (5-7); Lauryn Hardiman, Jr., SF (5-7); Maddie Dillinger, So., PF (6-1); Kaylin McKinney, Sr., SG (5-6); Lillian Anderson, Jr., C (6-0).

Key Newcomers: N/A.

Outlook: The Cavaliers return all five starters from a Cuthbertson team that was 21-6 last year and advanced to the third round of the 3A state playoffs. This year, senior point guard Kayla Young (7 points per game (ppg), juniors Lauryn Hardiman (10 ppg), Lillian Anderson (12 ppg, 10 rpg) and sophomore Maddie Dillinger (13 ppg, 8 rpg) look to help the Cavaliers contend for the Southern Carolinas’ conference (SCC) title and go deep into the 3A state playoffs.

--JAY EDWARDS

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